Tarkowski eyeing England recall

Burnley defender James Tarkowski says he will continue working hard to try and earn a recall to the England squad.

Burnley defender James Tarkowski says he will continue working hard to try and earn a recall to the England squad.

The 26-year-old has been a regular for the Clarets over the past two seasons and boss Sean Dyche has named him in the starting XI for all four of their Premier League fixtures this term.

He has helped the Clarets to claim one clean sheet in 2019-20 and looks solid alongside regular partner Ben Mee.

However, his exploits for the Lancashire club haven’t been enough to earn him a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

The Three Lions take on Bulgaria and Kosovo in Euro 2020 qualifying over the next couple of weeks and Tarkowski was hoping to add to his two caps.

Tarkowski made his England debut in March 2018, starting in a friendly against Italy, before earning his second outing in September 2018 against Switzerland, while he has been involved in other squads but hasn’t made it on to the field.

The centre-back admits it was disappointing not to get the call this time around but insists he will continue working hard in the hope of catching Southgate’s eye.

Tarkowski said: “I am always looking to see if I am going to be involved, I always feel as though I am working hard enough especially recently, I feel like I have been performing well.

“I have not made it, which is obviously disappointing, but that shows I still have to work to do and I will be working as hard as ever to show that.

“I am sure the England manager will be watching me amongst many other players, I have just got to keep performing and show what I can do.”

Southgate named four central defenders in his squad for the upcoming games with Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Joe Gomez and Tyrone Mings getting the nod.

The England boss certainly isn’t short on options with John Stones, Lewis Dunk, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling also pushing for a return to the national side.

Stones is likely to go straight back in once he can prove his fitness levels, having struggled in the early stages of this season, but Tarkowski will feel he has the edge over Jones and Smalling due to their lack of football for Manchester United, although that might change for the latter after his loan move to Roma.

Southgate is likely to try different options over the next few international breaks as he looks to assess all his options ahead of Euro 2020.

That should afford Tarkowski the chance to get back into the fold but he will need to ensure he rises to the occasion if he wants to cement his place with the Three Lions.